NIU Observatory

One of the best-kept secrets at NIU is the Davis Hall observatory, which overlooks the East Lagoon.

The primary goal of the Observatory is to serve as an educational resource for NIU students and the northern Illinois community. The public is invited to visit the Observatory for telescope viewing whenever NIU is in session. Viewing is free and the public is welcome. You can also check out the video produced by the Northern Star.

Some photos taken at the Observatory:

Jupiter in color, close up:


Jupiter with moons: 

Jupiter with moons

Orion nebula:

Orion nebula



Sea of Tranquility on the Moon (site of first moon landing):
Sea of Tranquility

The Transit of Venus

On Tuesday, June 5, the NIU Observatory observed an extremely rare astronomical event, a transit of Venus.  This means that the planet Venus was observed crossing the face of the Sun:

Transit of Venus

See articles from the Midweek and NIU Today. 

See also PHYS 162 (Astronomy) honors project photos, and photos of the so-called Super Moon of March 18, 2011.

Observatory Hours and Location

The observatory will be open 6:00-9:00 pm on Thursdays. Please check the status of the Observatory  prior to your visit to the observatory.

If you are interested in a group tour, please email our Observatory Manager, Chris Marshall cmarshall3@niu.edu or call Physics Dept. at (815) 753-1772, Monday - Friday (8 AM to 4:30 PM).

The Observatory is located at:

Davis Hall Room 703
Normal & Locust Roads
DeKalb, IL 60115

Davis Hall is on Normal Rd., about one block north of Lincoln Highway. After 5:00 p.m. free parking is available in the parking garage located kitty-corner from Davis Hall.

Take the Davis Hall elevator up to the 5th floor, go left to the end of the hallway, go right to the end of hallway and through the door, where you will find a staircase. Follow the signs up the staircase to Room 703.

Contact Information

Observatory Manager: Chris Marshall

 E-mail: cmarshall3@niu.edu

Observatory Phone: 
(815) 753-1305 (If you want to leave a message - please call the Physics Dept number listed below.)

Physics Dept Phone: 
(815) 753-1772

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